Pot Luck

On Friday night, Matt and I were invited to a pot luck dinner. I was extremely excited as I had never really been to one before and I love to cook. Cooking at home is quite challenging for a few reasons. First, cooking for one is hard. I am all for left overs, but eating left overs for 4-5 days in a row is another story. Second, I don’t tend to keep a lot of food in our fridge. That is the NYC way and I have found that the food often goes bad before I get around to cooking it. As a result, I stalk up on the Lean Cuisines, which Matt is certainly a big fan of (note the sarcasm). Third, I love to bake and definitely think I my sweet tooth and detail oriented frame of mind, compliment the precise nature of baking. When Rachel Ray starts putting “palm-fulls” of spices into dishes, or “seasons to taste with salt and pepper” my mind starts calculating exactly how much she has just added to the recipe.

So, when the invitation to attend the pot luck came about, I quickly responded to the email and requested that I sign up to make dessert. Unfortunately someone had already called dibs on dessert, so I was left with the choice of making an entrée or a side dish. Knowing that the guest list contained a few male guests who probably didn’t have much experience in the kitchen, I decided to take one for the team and make an entrée. I had been wanting to try my hand at making buffalo chicken mac and cheese (see previous post, S’mac) but I was nervous about making a new dish for other people. After googling a few recipes, I picked one that looked manageable and committed to it.

The recipe I decided on turned out great. Not quite the same as S’mac, but still good. I used pre-breaded/pre-cooked chicken from Perdue and I used all of the hot sauce (not just 4 tablespoons) cause I like things extra spicy and am addicted to Franks Hot Sauce (remember those Lean Cuisines… Franks works wonders on them). Everyone was pretty impressed with the dish and Matt even went back for seconds! If I were to make it again, I would probably add more cheese or bread crumbs to the top of the dish.

The rest of the dinner was great. We had creamed corn, turkey and chicken, fresh fruit and some delicious chocolate cake. While some of the guests didn’t quite understand that the idea of a pot luck is to cook things yourselves, it isn’t too surprising in New York that 1/2 the items would be store-bought. In the end, we all had fun and decided it was definitely something we wanted to do again. It was a great way to start the holiday weekend.

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